A conference committee in the U.S. House and Senate last week approved a measure reauthorizing the Head Start Act for the next five years.
The renewal, pending since 2003, was approved Nov. 8 on a unanimous vote. It would aim to bolster accountability for Head Start grantees by requiring ineffective programs to compete for their grants alongside new applicants.
The measure would set aside 40 percent of Head Start funds to improve program quality, including boosting salaries for Head Start teachers. And it would suspend the National Reporting System, a test given to Head Start students.
The measure would call for half of all Head Start teachers nationally to hold bachelor’s degrees by 2013, but it would not penalize any individual state or program that does not meet that requirement. Both the House and the Senate plan to consider the measure this week.
A version of this article appeared in the November 14, 2007 edition of Education Week